Though “appeal” and “revision” appear to be similar legal terms, there are certain subtle differences between them. The distinction between an appeal and a revision is a real one.
Appeal: There is no definition of the word “appeal” in any statute. It can be defined as the judicial examination by a higher Court of a decision of an inferior Court. It is a legal proceeding by which a case is brought before a higher court for review of the decision of a lower court. Appeal is a process of re-examination by a higher court of the judgment, or the order or the decision made by a lower court in a suit or in a case. Appeal is the right of entering a superior court and invoking its aid and interposition to redress the error of the court below. It is a proceeding taken before a superior court for reversing or modifying the decision of an inferior court on ground of error.
Revision: Revision is the act of examining again in order to remove any defect or grant relief against irregular or improper exercise or non-exercise of jurisdiction by a lower court. Revision is like re-working and re-writing. Revision means the action of revising, especially critical or careful examination or perusal with a view to correcting or improving.
In Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.), the provisions relating to appeal are contained in Sections 372 to 394, while provisions relating to revision are contained in Sections 397 to 405.
In Civil Procedure Code (CPC), the provisions relating to appeal are contained in Sections 96 to 112, while provisions relating to revision are contained in Section 115.
Generally speaking, there are following major differences between the legal terms “appeal” and “revision” (though the actual difference between these terms will depend upon the provisions of the law in which they are contained, such as in Criminal Procedure Code or in Civil Procedure Code or in the other relevant laws):
- Appeal is generally a legal right of a party, but revision depends on the discretion of the Court, due to which it cannot be claimed as a matter of right. In particular, in criminal cases, at least one appeal is a substantive right conferred on accused by the statute (and it is also considered a part of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution), while the revision power is discretionary and is not a matter of right.
- In case of appeal, the appellant is heard by the court. But, it is not necessary in the case of a revision and the person filing the revision may not be formally heard.
- Under the Civil Procedure Code, an appeal lies to a superior court (which may not necessary be a High Court), while a revision application lies only to the High Court (under Section 115 of the Code).
- Under the Criminal Procedure Code, the appeal lies to a superior court (which may be any superior court as laid down in the relevant provisions), but the revision lies only to the High Court or the Sessions Court (Section 399 of Cr.P.C.).
- Appeal is required to be filed by a party to the proceedings, but revision can also be exercised suo motu by the higher court having the power of revision.
- Generally, revision is exercised against those orders which are not appealable.
- Generally, appeal involves rehearing on question of law as well as on facts of the case, whereas revision generally involves hearing only the question of law and this is not considered a rehearing.
- An appeal is considered to be a continuation of the original proceeding whereas revision is not the continuation of the original proceeding.
In case the revision is rejected, you may approach the HC against the said order OR you may approach any other higher court.